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Warner Talks I-81, Budget & More During Harrisonburg Visit

Andrew Jenner

With the midterm dust settling, Virginia Senator Mark Warner stopped in Harrisonburg on Saturday afternoon to talk about his priorities and expectations for the months ahead.

Senator Warner began his hour-long visit at the Hotel Madison talking about his work on fighting the opioid epidemic, to position Virginia as a leader in drone manufacturing, and the federal budget, which he expects will pass in early December.

MARK WARNER: Wouldn’t it be glorious if we get through a whole calendar year without the threat of our government shut down?

He said the biggest hurdle is President Trump’s threat to shut down the government over border wall funding.

WARNER: I for one believe we’ve got to have strong borders, and secure borders, but I’ve not met anyone from Homeland Security, from Customs and Border, who thinks, frankly, that a wall is the right solution.

Chronic congestion on Interstate 81 was the local issue that got the most airtime.

WARNER: It is a harm to our economic development, it is a harm to personal safety, and to get it fixed, to get it repaired, it’s going to take money.

Warner hopes the Bridge Act, his bipartisan bill to encourage more private investment in infrastructure, will help solve that. After some Q & A, he ended by complementing local leaders in the room.

WARNER: If you could get the same quality of leadership and get-stuff-done in Washington that takes place at the county level and the city level all across America, we’d be in a lot better space.

Andrew Jenner is a freelance reporter based in Harrisonburg. After working as a journalist in the Shenandoah Valley for a decade, he spent three years living and reporting in Brazil, returning to Harrisonburg in the summer of 2018. Andrew has reported for TheAtlantic.com, The Washington Post, Deutsche Welle, Discover, Modern Farmer, and many others. He is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, has a MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Goucher College, and almost made it onto Jeopardy! a few years ago.